Snake oil salesmen lying to us accidentally paved the way for a safer world.

The fascinating reason product labels are so boring.

When someone is selling a product that doesn't do what they say, they're often called snake oil salesmen.

The phrase brings to mind the old Wild West with shouty men waving little bottles of magical medicines that promise everything short of immortality but do absolutely nothing.

But snake oil's real history — and its legacy — is much more interesting.

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This meeting of the Childhood Preservation Society can now come to order.

We ask that you please silence your Simon, and unless they identify as "hungry, hungry," please put any hippo feedings on hold.

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The confusing pile of government departments in charge of that soap you just bought.

The interesting — and kinda confusing — way your cleaning products make it to market.

Congratulations! You've just bought a brand-new cleaning product that's going to revolutionize the way you clean your home/car/workplace.

It's been a long time coming, but after years of development, testing, and marketing, this game-changing clean-making innovation is now available to the world. This time next year, the person who invented it will be on stage receiving the Nobel Prize in chemistry, and Jennifer Lawrence or Michael Keaton will be getting ready to play them in a movie.


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